The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
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When Julia Win’s father disappears one morning without a trace, on the day after her graduation from law school, her family is left unsettled and confused. It’s not until a few years later that her mother finds a piece of the puzzle?an unmailed love letter to a Burmese woman named Mi Mi.
Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia puts her career and her life on hold to travel to the village where Mi Mi once lived. Her journey takes her to the small mountain village of Kalaw, where she is approached by a man who claims to know her father, and who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of Julia herself. Intrigued, she returns to meet him every afternoon and listen to his incredible tales of her father’s youth?of his childhood blindness, his education at a monastery, and, most of all, about his passionate relationship with a local girl. At first Julia is unwilling to believe that the romantic boy in this poignant story has anything to do with her reticent father, but soon she can no longer withstand the almost mystical invoking of mysterious past events, entwined as they are with the influence of the stars and with a love larger than life.
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is a magical and uplifting tale of hardship and resilience, and the power of love to move mountains.
Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a non-fiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is his first novel. He lives in Berlin with his family.